After the Observer reported that Trader Joe’s is coming to Chelsea, we received another intriguing tip about the possibility of Fairway coming to the former Tower Records space on West 4th Street between Broadway and Lafayette. It’ll be occupied by the Brooklyn Flea’s holiday market starting November 27, but are there signs that Fairway wants to become a permanent resident?
The other day I saw a bunch of Fairway executives (sporting Fairway logo embossed golf shirts and carrying clipboards) snooping around the former Tower Records vacant space on W4th between Lafayette and Broadway. Suffice to say that would be an ideal Manhattan spot for them since there are barely any grocery stores in the area and the only competitor would be Whole Foods on either the Bowery or Union Square. And as we've seen uptown and in Paramus, NJ—where both Whole Foods and Fairway most recently opened—there is definitely a Whole Foods-Fairway supermarket war underway. So, if you ask me, the numbers just add up to Fairway Noho!
We called Fairway’s VP of Real Estate, Aaron Fleishaker, to find out what the men in clipboards meant, but he told us he hadn’t heard anything about the West 4th Street location being considered. “I can’t answer to what [Grub Street’s source] may have seen, but it’d be very unusual if people were looking for a store without me,” said Fleishaker. In any case, it’s company policy not to reveal upcoming locations until a lease is signed, so all he could do was remind us that, while Fairway continues to scour Manhattan locations, the next New York City store will open in Douglaston Plaza, in Queens, in middle or late 2010. Any future Fairways wouldn’t open until after that.